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Pics and info from the big day in El Salvador.
Over 29 years of life, conveniently condensed for you!
Nothing here yet...
We swam in the ocean, froze up in the mountains, walked through sacred Mayan grounds, and navigated estuary channels. And there was a wedding. On the beach. In a warm November Friday. When others froze up north. Life was good. Wedding Ceremony
Jaltepeque
San Andres | Cerro Verde
San Salvador
Engagement Album

Wedding Ceremony
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Wedding ceremony album

What can I say about our wedding ceremony. I barely remember it! I felt like a puppet: walk here, do that, cut the cake, say "hello" to people you've never met and will probably never see again, pose for this picture, dance to that music...

Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful production. Elisa and I exchanged our own vows. We got to enjoy a fireworks show. There was a huge buffet, and two bands -- a 15 piece salsa combo and an 8 piece mariachi group.

Mmy creative and wonderful mother directed the whole affair, surrounding us with beautiful flowers, lights, music, food, and lots and lots of booze. Life doesn't get better than that.
 
Engagement Album
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Engagement album

These scans are from one of the best wedding gifts we received. My amazing friends Astrid and Thorsten from Germany had great insight into our engagement story: they witnessed its unfolding in the spring of 1998. While studying abroad in Spain, I visiter her for a week. During that time, we spent a few days in Bamberg, where I lived for nearly three years in the early 90s. That's when I popped the question. Astrid and Thorsten chronicled the whole story (starting back at my Army days) in this wonderful album they made for us.
 
At the Beach: Suites Jaltepeque
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Suites Jaltepeque

The Suites Jaltepeque is our family-owned hotel on El Salvador's Costa del Sol -- the largest uninterrupted beach in Central America.

We and our guests spent most of our time on the hotel, swimming in unbelievable waters, hanging out in the pool, drinking beer, eating, drinking rum, getting sun, enjoying amazing sunsets, riding horses, and socializing.

The Costa del Sol is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Estero (estuary) de Jaltepeque. We also took a boat ride through some of the estuary's channels, and motored through a flock of hundreds of pelicans -- quite the sight!
 
San Andres | Cerro Verde
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Izalco

Me, Elisa, and our guests spent an entire day traipsing through the Salvadoran countryside. We started with a trip to a series of Mayan ruins, including Las Joyas de Ceren (an entire Mayan village buried after a volcanic explosion), and the pyramids at San Andres.

Afterward we went to El Cerro Verde -- a mountain overlooking the Izalco volcano and the volcanic lake of Coatepeque.

It was freezing up there, but the views are unparalleled in the country.

Quick story: Our lookout point over Izalco was a hotel built back in the 60s. At the time, Izalco was active and called the "lighthouse of the Pacific" -- its plumes were visible for hundreds of miles helping ships to navigate through the region.

El Salvador pinned its tourism hopes on the volcano, building what was then a luxury hotel overlooking the erupting volcano. However, the day the hotel opened for business, the volcano died. A perfect metaphor for the story of my country.
 
San Salvador
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San Salvador

For me, this trip was amazing. I hadn't been downtown San Salvador since my family fled the country in 1980. The city offers a stark contrast between rich and poor -- you are basically one or the other. But the underlying changes gave me cause for hope. There were a great number of dark-skinned people in business suits, something that was much rarer in the past. The capital had erased most of its scars from the civil war that drove my family to the US, and of the catastrophic 1986 earthquake.

After spending some time downtown and driving around some of the more noteworthy neighborhoods, we drove up to the very impressive Puerta del Diablo (Devil's Gate), so called because it's a favorite place to commit suicide or drop off your murder victims. The views there rivaled those of el Cerro Verde (see below), while the danger of falling thousands of feet to one's death made the visit that much more exciting!
 
WEDDING
An affirmation and a new beginning. November 24, 2000, friends and family from all over the world joined us in El Salvador to witness our exchange of vows, as well as to traverse beautiful El Salvador. The pictures below documented those magical two weeks.
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